About cycling in Mallorca
For information on individual itineraries see our cycling routes.
Thousands of cyclists arrive every year to travel Mallorca's highways and byways, enjoying mild winters, sunny skies and the fabulous light and colours of autumn and spring on the island. Throughout the winter, the best professional European teams come here, where they find ideal conditions for training.
Mallorca offers something for every cyclist, from some of the most impressive and demanding climbs to leisurely rides, making it a popular destination for amateurs and professionals. The cycling season begins in February and is busiest until May but most cycle shops are open until October. July and August are the hottest months so not an ideal time for training. If you decide to come at this time, then going out at the crack of dawn will not only ensure you have the run of the road but keep you cooler than you would be in the hot sun.
Where to base yourself
Where you base yourself will depend upon the type of cycling you wish to try. As more and more cyclists come to Mallorca from countries across Europe, although mainly the UK, Germany and Scandinavia, bike hire shops have been popping up all over the island offering a range of aluminium and carbon road frame bikes as well as hybrid and MBT bikes.
Port d'Alcúdia & Playa de Muro - North Mallorca
The resort of Port d'Alcúdia, in the north of Mallorca, is a favourite of Britain’s Team Sky during the winter thanks to its pleasant climate, beautiful landscape, dry, warm weather and challenging routes through the Serra de Tramuntana mountains. It is a hive of activity during the cycling season, especially around Playa de Muro beach, with many cycle-friendly hotels that offer bike maintenance, secure storage and regular organised rides.
Cala Millor - East Mallorca
On the east coast, you could base yourself in the Cala Millor area. It has wonderful coastal routes and also provides good access to the Llevant Natural Park which has plenty of challenging hills in beautiful protected surroundings.
Playa de Palma - South Mallorca
Another popular area with a number of bike shops and cycle-friendly hotels is Playa de Palma, a popular beach resort to the east of Palma and close to the airport. The routes down here are mainly flat with the odd hilly area, especially around the Puig de Randa (543m) which is the island's most famous climb after the Serra de Tramuntana.
Enjoy Mallorca's coastline routes and admire the sea with its hidden coves and crystal blue waters or try some more challenging mountain trails and test your stamina as you climb a hundred bends. We have compiled a list of some of the most popular cycling routes in Mallorca, focusing mainly on those suitable for everyone. If you're looking for harder, professional circuits try these routes from Bikehead Mallorca, including the legendary climb to Sa Calobra in the northeast of the island. Since Mallorca has mountainous and flat terrain, you can choose your route to suit your purpose - we promise you that there is something for everyone!
Also see: Cycling Routes in Mallorca
How difficult is the cycling?
The route's difficulty tends to be dependent on ability and/or how hard you want to try up the climbs. If you are confident of making the climbs quickly, which means you’ll be climbing for up to an hour, then you’ll need a 39x27 gear. If you know you’ll take a little longer, then your bike needs to be equipped with either a compact triple or double chainset. This will ensure you have low enough gears to ride comfortably at a pace that suits your level. Remember that the climbs may not be that steep but they are long and, combined with the heat and altitude, may present more of a challenge than you think. However, don’t be put off, if you’re honest about your level and use the appropriate gears then it will be a tiring but pleasurable experience.
We recommend you don't bring your bike with you on your Mallorcan holiday. Airlines not only charge carriage these days but there is the possibility of loss or damage to your pride and joy during transit. There are top-notch rental stores in most of the holiday resorts around the coast of Mallorca that will kit you out with the newest and best-quality bikes for the duration of your holiday. To avoid disappointment, it's definitely a good idea to book well in advanced as many shops start to take bookings early in the autumn for the next spring season.
Road, mountain, touring, children's and electric bikes are all on offer, and they're kept really well maintained. Most shops will offer a recovery service should you have any problems while out on the road and delivery to your apartment or hotel on arrival is available sometimes. Many of these stores are also specialist bike shops so you can pick up accessories and clothing if required. In Spain, helmets are compulsory on non-urban roads for adults, and in all public spaces for children under 16 years old. These are also available to hire at all of the shops.
Equipment for cycling
- Water - One of the biggest problems in Mallorca is the heat. Fit two bottle cages to your bike and take 750ml bottles with electrolyte drinks.
- Sun Cream - Dry air and hot summer sun means you will burn quicker here than at home
- Windbreaker - Although it may be warm in the valley temperatures can drop rapidly as you climb, weather can change quickly and the fast descents can cool you down fast.
- Snacks - Energy bars and gels are a very good idea if you are planning a day on the roads.
- Mobile Phone - Being able to contact someone to pick you up if your chain breaks is helpful.
- Money - You may need it in an emergency or just for a beer at the end of the day.
- Basic Repair Kit - You can't fix everything by the side of the road but not all breakdowns require the day to end.
Mallorca Cycling Challenge Race
Leading professional cyclists come to Majorca every winter to compete in the Mallorca Cycling Challenge Race, the first event of the year that counts towards the World Cup. This race has been going since 1992 but organisers only invited international teams in 1995 and is now used to get many of the top racing teams prepared for the season. It consists of four one-day races in which cyclists and teams can choose to compete each day.
Mallorca's most popular cycling race takes place every April on the island. This cyclo-sportive competition covers 312km around Playa de Muro, near the cycling hotspot of Port d'Alcúdia and crossing the Serra de Tramuntana mountains with a climb of over 5,000m. There are also shorter routes to choose from.
Ironman 70.3 Triathlon
Port d'Alcúdia and the surrounding Serra de Tramuntana mountains transform into an international triathlon platform in May each year for the Ironman Mallorca. Competitors swim 1.9km in Alcudia Bay, cycle 90km through the Tramuntana mountains then finish off with a half-marathon through town. The number of competitors means the main road in Port d'Alcúdia is turned into a transition zone with high-end road bikes lined up as far as the eye can see.
Also see: Events Calendar for Mallorca
Cycling hotels & camps
Many of Mallorca's hotels welcome cyclists and will be able to offer storage rooms and bike racks - check before you book. There are also specialist hotels boasting extensive facilities and services to cyclists, especially around Port d'Alcúdia, Playa de Muro beach and Playa de Palma but also on the east coast of Mallorca, the area surrounding the holiday resort of Peguera, on the south-west coast, and the centre of the island.
Cycle-friendly Hotels in North Mallorca
Port d'Alcúdia and Playa de Muro are really popular areas for cycling holidays in Mallorca because they provide easy access to the Serra de Tramuntana mountains as well as some of the most beautiful coastal routes on the island. There are several cycle-friendly hotels here offering bike hire, storage, repair workshops, washing facilities, specially-curated cycling routes and more. These include the 5-star Iberostar Playa de Muro Village and the 4-star Alcudiamar Hotel which even offer special menus for cyclists and physiotherapy.
Cycle-friendly Hotels in East Mallorca
A good place to call home while on a cycling trip in east Mallorca is the beach resort of Cala Millor, near the sea but also close to the mountains of the Llevant Natural Park. Cala Bona Hotel not only has a cycle room for 500 bikes as well as renting, washing and maintenance facilities but they also offer local guides, a recovery service en route and lots more.
Cycle-friendly Hotels in South Mallorca
Playa de Palma is the cycling hub on the southern coast of the island. Here you'll find the 4-star Occidental Hotel which boasts about having "one of the best-equipped cycling centres on the island". This is a place for those who take their riding really seriously as some of their rooms even incorporate an hypoxia chamber to simulate high-altitude training. If you prefer a more rural setting, the stunning Son Julia Boutique Hotel is located a bit further inland, near the village of Llucmajor, and has professional carbon road bikes, trekking bikes and e-bikes for rent as well as specifically designed routes that start on its premises.
Flying with your bike
It's highly likely that you will be subjected to a standard charge for taking your bike on board. Although you may have paid an excess for your bike, its weight may be added to the weight of your hold luggage and there can be a penalty for any kgs over the allowance. Come conventional airlines such as British Airways permit free transport of bikes providing they fit within the free baggage allowance and are packed in a protective container.
Packing your bike for a flight
There are a few options available in transporting your bike. Hard bike boxes tend to cost in the region of 300€ and, like a hard case suitcase, will minimise the risk of damage occurring to the your bike. A soft bike bag is a cheaper and lighter option, costing around 100€. Whilst this will provide your bike with a little more padded protection it is not as reliable as the hard box. Most airlines stipulate the following:
- Bikes should be contained within a protective box or appropriate bike bag
- Only one bike should be carried per box/bag and no other items (except protective padding) should be included within the box/bag
- Handlebars and pedals must be fixed sideways against the frame or removed and tyres should be deflated slightly to reduce the risk of damage
If you are transporting your bike, you should also check out your travel insurance arrangements. A lot of travel insurance companies will not cover your expensive mountain bike without an additional excess payment, and a lot of airlines will not be held responsible for any damage sustained whilst the bike is in their care. Check out your household insurance policy to see whether it can be covered as 'contents away from home'. There may be a slight surcharge for this option but it's potentially better than having to fork out for a new bit of kit, or a brand new bike!!
In addition to bubble wrap, purchase some pipe lagging and zip ties from a DIY store to put around the frame of the bike for protection during transportation. In addition, if you don't have your original cardboard bike box, ask your local bike shop for one. If you have the choice always use the manufacturer’s box and your bike should arrive safe and whole. However, it is worth noting that the most frequently damaged part of a bike is the rear gear hanger. Remove the rear gear mechanism and tie wrap loosely to the frame to avoid this scenario. This applies almost equally to disc brake rotors if your bike sports them. Take them off, likewise pedals, its only a five minute job and will prevent you engaging in a fruitless search for an obscure part in resort.
Safety advice for cyclists
- Carrying ID in Mallorca is mandatory, to avoid fines from the local police or Guardia Civil always carry some form of photographic identification on you
- Riding two abreast is legal in Mallorca but keep as far to the right as possible. Ride in single file when there is poor visibility
- Keep to the hard shoulder of roads wherever possible. Don't make any risky manoeuvres and always comply with all traffic regulations
- Respect the natural surrounding because the ecological balance is very fragile. Do not leave litter behind and do not light fires in the woods
- Do not enter private property without the expressed permission of the owner
- In the summer, it is advisable not to cycle during the hottest time of the day. Take water, sun-cream and a hat on excursions
- Before leaving, make sure your cycle is in good condition. If you are planning to go out at night or might be returning late, ensure that your bike is fitted with working lights
- Before setting off, make sure you let someone know where you will be going and when you think you are likely to be back
- Take care in the road tunnels in the Tramuntana mountains. In the area of Puig Major, the tunnels are not lit, so take lights if you are planning on using this route. There are also tunnels on the way to Lloret a Ruberts and the old road to Muro